The GetFive Blog

Why SMBs Should Offer Outplacement

Shot of a team of entrepreneurs collaborating and sitting on the floor in a modern office

Hey, HR pros in small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs): Does your company offer outplacement services? No? We’re respectfully going to say that’s a mistake, but an all-too-common one.

There’s a common misconception that outplacement services are for large companies laying off hundreds, if not thousands, of workers. And that’s true; it’s vital for a company laying off a wide swath of the workforce provide outplacement and career transition services to those employees, not only because it’s the right thing to do morally but also because it’s right for the bottom line. What you spend helping those employees transition out into other employment will come back to you in brand-building, good will, and, perhaps most importantly, trust from the survivors. But, just as it’s true of large corporations, it’s equally true for SMBs. Maybe even more so.

The Small Business Administration tells us that most, 99.7%, of the businesses in the U.S. are SMBs, each employing 500 or less people. While layoffs at big companies like GM, Citigroup, and HP have grabbed the headlines in recent years, there’s a lot of turnover going on in those SMBs every day, too. Here’s why outplacement is vital.

SMB employees feel like family. A layoff at an SMB might not affect thousands of workers like the recent Citigroup shakeup, but a layoff is a layoff whether you’re talking about 20,000 employees or 20. Each one of those displaced workers leaves the building for the last time unsure about his or her future, and what the job market might bring. And working for a small business, that feeling may be amplified because employees feel like family, they know everybody, socialize together, and identify powerfully with the company brand.

Survivors feel the loss of their coworkers. A layoff can feel like a death in the family, and not only will the departing employees need help transitioning, but the survivors will, too. If you don’t help people land on their feet, you’re creating a lot of bad will that can sour your workplace culture in the blink of an eye.

You’re an HR generalist. In small businesses, HR pros have to be jacks and jills of all trades. Many times, HR departments in SMBs consist of one person who’s doing it all. Maybe you’ve never been involved in a layoff. Leaning on a provider to handle your outplacement frees you up to focus on the survivors.

Bottom line? Outplacement helps the employees who are transitioning to new jobs and gives your survivors a sense of trust and security that you’ve got their collective backs. Questions? We’ve got answers. Find out more about our award-winning Modern Outplacement Services.

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